Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Fun Flying With Awesome Food at the Fig

I confess - before last night, I had never dined at the Flying Fig, though I had heard many wonderful things about it. So when my friend Elinor and I decided to have a "girls' night out" - she encouraged me to pick a restaurant I'd not yet partaken of, and Flying Fig was my immediate choice. My only remaining question is - why the heck did I wait so long???

The last time I was in this space (across Market Street from The Great Lakes Brewing Company), it was a tapas bar called Keka. It has been reincarnated a couple of times since then, and Chef Karen Small's version is truly a keeper.

I started with a glass of red - a delightful "big" blend that I didn't write down, because I *knew* that they had their wine list on the their website - except - oopsies - the info on the website isn't current. Silly me - I shoulda wroten it down! I really enjoyed the wine (enough to order a second glass of it) and would love to tell you what it was!

Bread Service

The bread was outstanding - among the best I've sampled in Cleveland.

Tomato Soup w/Cheddar Biscuit

My companion enjoyed this soup, which was a daily special. She wasn't so crazy about having the biscuit in the soup, so, without being asked - our server found her a dry biscuit, which she liked very much.

Roasted Beet Salad with Local Apples, Goat Cheese, Walnuts, Local Honey, Herb Vinaigrette

Sandwiched between the red and orange beets was the most delectable goat cheese. I asked the server if it was MacKenzie Creamery (since they feature that local Slow Food Member's product in some dishes) but she wasn't sure. Whatever it was - it melted in the mouth. The whole salad worked together in perfect harmony.

Baked Monkfish with Wild Rice Pilaf and Broccoli Rabe

Elinor - who had only eaten lobster once before, and monkfish not at all, decided to be adventurous and try this dinner special. She confessed that it wasn't exactly a texture that she was expecting (I had explained about "poor man's lobster", but I hadn't realized that she'd never really had lobster). She'd never had rabe before, either. Nevertheless, I think she enjoyed trying something new. My taste of this fish was very good, though my entree absolutely blew me away.

Seared Halibut with Fresh Spatzel tossed with Asparagus and Mushroom, topped with Mandarin Orange Slices and Salad, with Buerre Blanc

Wow. All I can say is that this piece of "Cleveland" fish was every bit as fresh, delectable and satisfying as any of the fish we had on our trip to Florida in February. Moreover, the fish was perfectly seasoned and perfectly cooked. And I especially appreciated the placement of the Buerre Blanc (which was also perfect) to the sides of the fish, allowing me to dab at it while also allowing me to enjoy the fish pristinely (and with less butterfat - which I am conscious of since my dad spent his 70th birthday having a 99% coronary blockage stented last week!). And at the top - several slices of fresh (not canned!) Mandarin Orange - yum! Both fish dishes were priced comparably with what we paid for the best fish dinners we had in Florida, and they tasted as good.

We did not order dessert - hard to do, as plates of heavenly looking treats passed us by on their way to other tables. Still, a starter and entree each provided more than plenty of food to sate our appetites, and it was food of the highest quality.

Flying Fig has a Happy Hour Tuesday-Friday from 5pm-7:30pm with $5 wine and $5 appetizers - I look forward to trying that, too!

So, I am sorry that I waited so long to play with the food at the Flying Fig; I won't make that mistake again! The food, and the staff, which provided outstanding service, are fun and first rate!

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